United States District Court, D. Hawaii
E. Kobayashi United States District Judge
the court is pro se Plaintiff Justin Mitchell Oliver's
prisoner civil rights Complaint. ECF No. 1. Oliver alleges
that the State of Hawaii maliciously prosecuted and
unlawfully incarcerated him, based on an alleged violation of
his speedy trial rights. He seeks compensatory and punitive
following reasons, Oliver's Complaint is DISMISSED
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2) and 1915A(a),
for failure to state a colorable claim for relief. Because
amendment is futile, this dismissal is without leave to
amend, but without prejudice to raising these claims in a
petition for writ of habeas corpus.
he is a prisoner proceeding in forma pauperis, the court must
screen Oliver's Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§§ 1915(e)(2) and 1915A(a). Claims that are
frivolous, malicious, fail to state a claim for relief, or
seek damages from defendants who are immune from suit must be
dismissed. See Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122,
1126-27 (9th Cir. 2000) (en banc) (discussing §
1915(e)(2)); Rhodes v. Robinson, 621 F.3d 1002, 1004
(9th Cir. 2010) (discussing § 1915A(b)).
complaint must contain a “short and plain statement of
the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to
relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). Detailed factual
allegations are not required, but a complaint must allege
enough facts to provide both “fair notice” of the
claim asserted and “the grounds upon which [that claim]
rests.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S.
544, 555 & n.3 (2007) (citation and quotation marks
omitted). A complaint must “contain sufficient factual
matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556
U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (internal quotation marks omitted);
Wilhelm v. Rotman, 680 F.3d 1113, 1121 (9th Cir.
2012). “Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause
of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not
suffice.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678.
pleadings must be liberally construed and all doubts should
be resolved in the pro se plaintiff's favor. Hebbe v.
Pliler, 627 F.3d 338, 342 (9th Cir. 2010) (citations
omitted). If the defects in the complaint can be corrected,
leave to amend must be granted, Lopez, 203 F.3d at
1130; if a claim or complaint cannot be saved by amendment,
dismissal without leave to amend or with prejudice is
appropriate, Sylvia Landfield Tr. v. City of L.A.,
729 F.3d 1189, 1196 (9th Cir. 2013).
Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477 (1994), a plaintiff
cannot bring a § 1983 claim arising out of alleged
unconstitutional activities that resulted in his criminal
conviction, unless the conviction is first reversed,
expunged, set aside, or otherwise called into question.
Heck, 512 U.S. at 486-87. If a plaintiff seeks
damages in a § 1983 suit based on alleged illegalities
during his criminal trial, the district court must
“consider whether a judgment in favor of the plaintiff
would necessarily imply the invalidity of his conviction or
sentence; if it would, the complaint must be
dismissed.” Id., 512 U.S. at 487.
is, a § 1983 claim is barred if the “plaintiff
could prevail only by negating ‘an element of the
offense of which he has been convicted.'”
Cunningham v. Gates, 312 F.3d 1148, 1153-54 (9th
Cir. 2002) (citing Heck, 512 U.S. at 487 n.6). This
is called the “favorable termination” rule.
Edwards v. Balisok, 520 U.S. 641, 646-48 (1997)
(holding Heck's favorable termination rule
applies to prison disciplinary proceedings that resulted in
the loss of good time credits).
plaintiff may still bring § 1983 claims challenging
alleged unconstitutional actions during trial, if success on
those claims would not necessarily invalidate a criminal
conviction or sentence. See Heck, 512 U.S. at 487
n.7 (explaining that, “[b]ecause of doctrines like
independent source and inevitable discovery, and especially
harmless error, such a § 1983 action, even if
successful, would not necessarily imply that the
plaintiff's conviction was unlawful”) (citations
omitted); see also Beets v. Cty. of Los Angeles, 669
F.3d 1038, 1042 (9th Cir. 2011) (“[T]he relevant
question is whether success in a subsequent 1983 suit would
‘necessarily imply' or ‘demonstrate' the
invalidity of the earlier conviction or sentence.”).
allegations that the Honorable Shackley Raffetto and the
state prosecutor maliciously prosecuted him in violation of
his speedy trial rights are clearly barred under
Heck, as a decision in Oliver's favor would
undermine his current conviction and incarceration.
Oliver's Complaint and action are DISMISSED.
28 U.S.C. § 1915(g)
dismissal may later count as a “strike” under 28
U.S.C. § 1915(g), because it is clear on the face of the
Complaint that Oliver is challenging his current
incarceration and conviction and he seeks damages only.
See Washington v. L.A. Cty. Sheriff's Dep't,
833 F.3d 1048 (9th Cir. 2016) (holding that, when a
Heck-bar is apparent ...